Nasturtium “Capers”

...sturtium is that the entire plant is edible – both the leaves and flowers have a strong peppery flavor and the flowers brighten up the Spartan salads we chow down on in the late spring. Once you plant this stuff, at least here in Los Angeles, the thousands of seeds it produces guarantee that you will see it again next year. Thanks to a tip from our frère et soeur at Terre Vivante, editors of a great book called Keeping Food Fresh, we now ha...

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Book Review: My Side of the Mountain

...and I speak of this often, in our books, on this blog and in our talks. Only now am I realizing that who planted the seed of this philosophy in my young mind. Jean Craigshead George died this spring at the age of 92.  I wish I’d re-read this book a little sooner, so I could have sent her a letter to say thank-you. * * * An excerpt. Sam’s first day with his baby hawk, Frightful:    The food put the bird to sleep I watched her eyelids c...

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Broadleaf Plantain

...impact thusly: In turfgrass they form dense clumps that give poor footing for athletic fields and golf courses. The plantains have a texture and color that varies from normal turf cultivars, and their flower stalks extend above the turf, reducing its aesthetic quality. Frankly, SurviveLA applauds anything that will cause golfers to slip and fall. The world’s 35,000 golf courses use enough water each day to support 4.7 billion people. Pow...

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Bucket Flushing

...ywater systems and today we’ve got our first tip on recycling your water. First a definition. Greywater is the waste water that comes out of your shower, sinks, and washing machine. Blackwater is the icky stuff that comes out of your toilet and because of the risk of contamination it should not be reused. For now we’ll lump the kitchen sink in with the toilet since food scraps, particularly for meat eaters can quickly turn your greywa...

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Block Party Weekend

...;Los Angeles is an army camped far from its sources of supply, using distant resources faster than nature renews them . . . Our region today is so dependent, so uninhabitable, yet so inhabited, that it must transform or die. Sooner or later it must generate its own food, fuel, water, wood and ores. It must use these at the rate that nature provides them. It can . . .”-Paul Glover Los Angeles: A History of the Future as quoted in the LAEV...

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Grub

Why start the day with the Wall Street Journal when the real excitement is to be found in periodicals such as Backyard Poultry Magazine? While our broke nation can’t afford missile shields or moon trips anymore, at least it’s comforting to read in the pages of BPM that the citizens of Bonner Springs, Kansas can visit the brand new National Poultry Museum. This month’s issue of BPM also has a fascinating article by Harvey Usse...

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Nettle Harvest

...Homegrown Neighbor here: Stinging nettle- Urtica dioica is a both a beloved and hated plant. Yes, it does sting. The stem and leaf edges are covered in stinging hairs. It can be rather painful. But it has been used as a food and medicine plant dating back at least to ancient Rome. Interestingly, if you sting an inflamed or painful area of the body with nettle, it has been shown to decrease the pain. Mr. Homegrown has also written about nettles o...

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The glass is half full–even if it’s full of greywater

...rflies, ladybugs…. I’d need a fancy camera to capture all that action, but here’s a shot from the spring: And then there’s always the reassurance of a sturdy old fruit or nut tree. Most of our trees are young–planted by us. They have yet to reach their productive days, but we have an old avocado tree. It bears fruit every year, but every 3rd year it gives a bumper crop. And this was one of those years. They’r...

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Summer of Solar Cookin’

...yle cooker with a black interior and clear, insulated lid. It also has a removable reflector to help concentrate the light in the box. The reflector is helpful, but I’ve seen the temperature get up to nearly 200 degrees without it during the middle of the day. It came with two round 3 quart pots, so it can cook up quite a lot of food. Summer is here and it is nice and sunny in Southern California. And way too hot to turn on an oven. So I...

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